14 June 2017
More than an old car #21: SS Jaguar 1.5 Litre
Pre-war cars [older than 1939] are very rare in Singapore, given the humidity and the extreme heat all year round. As a result, practically all of such vehicles have been imported here and given a new lease of life under these enthusiasts. They do look somewhat out of place in modern society and this 1938 SS Jaguar/Jaguar Mark IV 1.5 Litre is a prime example of past versus the present.
Many of you would have seen Jaguar Cars, mostly driven by what we call 'rich people'. However, it was initially known as SS Cars Limited, which was founded in 1922 by William Lyons. No one really knows what SS stands for--it could be either 'Swallow Sidecar Company' or 'Standard Swallow'. SS Cars became known as Jaguar Cars in 1945, where it is now part of India-based Tata Motors since 2008.
Production of the SS Jaguar 1.5 Litre began in 1935 and it was the smallest car compared to the larger models such as the 2.5 and 3.5 Litre. The horns are actually somewhat visible under the headlights and the side indicators were welded on the fenders [ie the curved portion over the wheels]. It was powered by a 1776cc Standard 4-cylinder engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 113km/h. It was also 4.39m long and had a 4-speed manual transmission.
When production ended in 1949, 10,430 were made and this specimen here had been imported here recently. I find it amazing that there are people who are willing to go through all the hassle and paperwork in order to drive an antique piece of history given the COE system here. Here;s to hoping that the owner will keep it running in the years to come!